Tis the Season…For Seasonal Affective Disorder
For many people, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For countless others… not so much. The days are getting shorter and shorter, and holiday stress seems to just keep piling up. If this time of year is difficult for you, you are not alone, and what you are experiencing may be something more than a case of the “winter blues.” In fact, you could be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. SAD is extremely common and affects millions of people each year. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms and what you can do to start feeling better.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Also known as SAD, seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that changes with the seasons. In most people, symptoms begin in late fall or early winter and subside in the spring or summer.
While the exact symptoms of seasonal affective disorder vary from one person to another, some of the most common signs include:
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt
- Frequent agitation
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Low energy and tiredness
- Weight gain
- Appetite changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Natural Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder
While only a doctor can diagnose SAD, there are are several steps you can take to start making yourself feel better whether you’ve received an official diagnosis or not. Many people experience this condition largely as the result of decreased light exposure during the winter months. For up to 80% of SAD patients, light therapy is effective in alleviating symptoms. Just 15 to 30 minutes of exposure to an artificial light box each day boosts melatonin production and helps improve mood.
Getting some exercise may also help alleviate the symptoms of SAD. Numerous studies link physical activity and increased serotonin levels, and it doesn’t take a lot of exercise to make a big difference. Just a few minutes on the treadmill or some stretching exercises like yoga can help alleviate feelings of depression.
Seeing your chiropractor may also help. Chiropractic adjustments bring the entire body into proper alignment and allow the brain and nervous system to communicate more efficiently. For many patients, this results in an improvement in overall mood.
If you think that seasonal affective disorder is getting you down, we can help. To schedule an appointment with Denver South Chiropractic, please call 303-757-7280.